Season 7, Episode 7
Tonight’s HIMYM was called “Noretta” in reference to Barney’s girlfriend-hybrid-mother, but I’ve got to say that the Nora part was my least favorite story line of this episode. It is not that I don’t like Nora, but actually I tend to agree with Barney’s brother James: I just don’t see them together. However, it’s not because she reminded me of anyone’s mother, but because I am just not feeling the chemistry between these two and find it hard to believe that Barney is so willing to adjust his behavior for her. It was the parental resemblance realizations that were enjoyable, and they provided the solid laughs for tonight.
Smile and Tell (or, what I loved):
- The opening sequence in which they realize, “We’re gunna need a bigger booth!” I especially liked Nora claiming she was going to the bathroom just to have her own seat for a while. But this also set the stage for Ted feeling crowded out by couples.
- Barney thinking tonight was the night he was finally going to “Bootytown” with Nora, which involves many transportation sexual innuendoes such as “Pulling into Pork Authority.” Too bad Nora’s “special treat” was “strapping on” an ice skate. But the real reason this was important was because it initiated the conversation that people tend to date someone that reminds them of their mom or dad. Barney really likes his ice cream…especially when it isn’t really ice cream.
- Kevin’s integration into the group and his dual function as a boyfriend and therapist! Tonight I really started feeling like Kal Penn was headed toward becoming a legit member of the gang, while also being able to throw in some laid back analysis of their dynamics. And to boot, he has his own esteem issues to bring to the table, in the form of him feeling like any girl he ends up with would probably love his brother more since his mother does.
- “Ted’s nuts” –literally. This episode continued to address the closeness Robin still shares with her exes, particularly Ted because they live together as roommates. Robin is concerned whether Ted can handle having Kevin around the apartment a lot, while Ted is concerned that Kevin stands around in his boxers, while Kevin flat out explains that he only had to strip down after spilling coffee on himself when Ted accidentally flashed him. Cue to Ted crashing some of Robin and Kevin’s alone time, including selecting the fascinating coin collecting documentary for movie night (definitely not Die Hard). This was another great moment in terms of Kevin finding his niche in the group, because even though he lost it when Robin started massaging Ted, it was a nice bro gesture to offer to attend a Weird Al concert with Ted.
- “Shoots and Lilies” –the game Marshall makes up to help Lily feel sexy in her new pregnancy body (which still doesn’t look any bigger to me). This was probably the most organic connection between a spouse (Marshall) reminding their partner (Lily) of a parent (Lily’s dad) because we have direct evidence across many seasons of the show that prove both Marshall and Lily’s dad have an intense obsession with creating absurdly awesome board games.
- All of the moments when they visualize their own mothers (or fathers) as their love interests. The best by far was Marshall claiming Lily is not like his mother, only to realize she is more like his father. It was great to see Dauber back as Marshall’s deceased dad, but it was especially great to see him in Lily’s pink jammies with Chris Elliot as Lily’s dad. In general, it was fun seeing this entire recurring cast of parents. Kudos to Marshall patting Ted on the back when James comments that Barney has slept with many people’s mothers…oh Virginia Mosby.
Show and Yell (or, what I wasn’t crazy about):
- Nora and the very very very bad date! Of course everything that could go wrong on this romantic evening did go wrong—from falling and breaking a tooth at the ice rink, to a rat in her hair to a…suicide jumper?? The humor was too broad at first, then just crossed a line with the suicide jumper. Again, the only good part was when Barney also had a moment of picturing Nora as his mother, and then his line at the end about how he turned things around by literally ‘turning it around.’
- Barney’s brother James was only in the episode a few moments, which seemed like a wasted opportunity since Barney + James = awesome. However, that booth really was getting pretty crowded: there seem to be a lot of new characters to cover these days.
What did you think of Noretta—both the episode and the hybrid name representing Nora and Barney’s mom Loretta? And was Ted’s new girl at the end—a reminder of his mother—meant to be someone special? Or is Ted destined to call Ranjit for dates?